How to Get Legally Married in Arkansas and Plan Your AR Wedding
If you're an Arkansas couple and you're looking to get hitched (legally), you'll need to get a marriage license. Even though it's one of the least glamorous parts of getting married, it's a crucial step to ensuring your marriage is solidified.
Luckily, the process for getting your marriage license in Arkansas isn't too arduous, but there are specific steps to obtain the license that you should definitely know about beforehand if you want the process to be smooth sailing for you and your partner. Like anything, it's good to come prepared, right? And, Arkansas is a beautiful state to get married in, with its rolling fields and vast mountain landscapes. So, if you're ready to legally seal the deal in the Natural State, read our tips below about how to obtain your marriage license.
How to Get Married in Arkansas
Every state has different, yet equally important guidelines that detail how you can apply for your marriage in those states. In Arkansas, the process itself is easy enough, but you just have to make sure you have all of the necessary legal information in order to make it to that step. Let us help break down the process, so we can help make your wedding planning experience less stressful.
Is there a waiting period to get married in Arkansas?
There is no waiting period to get married in Arkansas, as long as you're 18 years of age or older.
What are the legal requirements to get married in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, you and your partner must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid, government-issued ID. However, females as young as 16 and males as young as 17 can get an Arkansas marriage license with parental consent.
What's considered a common law marriage in Arkansas?
There are no common law marriages recognized in Arkansas.
Arkansas Marriage License 101
Now that you and your future spouse have made sure you fit the legal requirements to get married, it's time to get ready to head to your County Clerk's Office to apply for your license. All in all, the process won't take too long, and you'll be ready to legally say your "I dos" in no time at all.
What do you need to get a marriage license in Arkansas?
Before we get down to brass tacks, no — you don't need a blood test to get married in Arkansas. You also won't need proof of residency, as you would need in some states.
You will need a state-certified copy of your birth certificate, a valid passport, or an active Military Identification Card to the county courthouse if you're 21 or younger. But, if you're 21 or older, bring one of those documents, or a valid driver's license, that shows your date of birth and correct name, and you'll be all set.
Also, be prepared to bring cash, as Arkansas does not allow for marriage licenses to be paid for with a credit card or debit card.
Once you've obtained your license, you also will need to find an officiant for the ceremony, which Arkansas state law says can be a Justice of the Peace or any ordained minister with state-approved minister's credentials. After you get married, you'll have to bring the marriage license back to your County Clerk's Office yourself, whereas, in some states, your officiant is required to do it. Also, if you're looking to get a name change in Arkansas, you'll have to take additional steps at your local County Clerk's Office, but most of the same legal requirements apply.
What does an Arkansas marriage license cost?
The license fee in Arkansas is $60, but again, just make sure you have cash available to pay this fee.
How long does it take to get a marriage license in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, there's no waiting period, and you'll get your license the same day you apply (as long as you've passed all of the legal requirements, of course!) Be aware that once your license is obtained, you'll have to get married within 60 days of receiving it, or the license will expire.
Can you apply for a marriage license online in Arkansas?
Unlike most states, Arkansas does not allow for online applications to be filled out. But, you can go to any County Clerk's Office (there are over 75 of them throughout the state) so it shouldn't be too challenging to find a location to apply in person that's convenient for you.
How do you get a copy of your Arkansas marriage license?
You can order a copy of a marriage record online through the Arkansas vital records office. Or, you can order by mail if you find the application online and send it to the Arkansas Department of Health. Allow 10 to 14 days for your order to process, and then you'll have a certified copy of your marriage license sent to your house.
How to Plan an Arkansas Wedding
Likely, you and your future spouse have already planned most of your wedding details by the time you've gotten your marriage license. If not, that's okay too — we're not judging. But, if you're reading this in preparation for your special day, we have some information you need to know about getting married in Arkansas.
The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for an Arkansas Wedding
One of the great things about Arkansas is that there are lots of beautiful, natural landscapes for you to admire throughout the state. AR is home to the Ozarks, a beautiful natural landscape you might want to consider if you want more of a rustic wedding, or you can explore one of Arkansas' quaint cities to host your ceremonies in. For example, Little Rock, nestled along the Arkansas River in Pulaski County, is known for its nightlife scene and the great restaurants that line the streets of downtown. Whether you're a city or country person, Arkansas definitely has something to offer for you.
What to Look for in an Arkansas Wedding Venue
Ultimately, you want your wedding venue to reflect the interests of you and your future spouse, so making sure you know what your must-haves and deal-breakers are when it comes to searching for your perfect place is crucial. There are a plethora of options to choose from in this beautiful state, and whether you want an indoor or outdoor wedding, you're sure to find something that suits your needs, since there really is something for everyone in this state.
How to Find Arkansas Wedding Venues
If you're the type of person that likes to take to the world wide web for suggestions, you can consult a resource like The Knot Marketplace for extensive Arkansas wedding venue suggestions. Or consider even joining a Facebook group to consult Arkansas residents to get suggestions from locals.
The Best Times of Year to Have an Arkansas Wedding for Good Weather
The best season for mild weather and beautiful scenery is definitely fall. The temperature ranges from about 60 to 80 degrees, and the fall foliage is really a sight to see. Spring is also a good time, but just be aware that there's more of a likelihood for rain in the early spring months — definitely important to note if you want to have an outdoor wedding.